Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

The best things in life are free ~sung by Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross

My friends have the supernatural ability to spot FREE activities for kids and I tell you, how lucky I am to be a part of their circle, especially during this uncertain economic period. Take for example a visit to the pumpkin patch in my area. Pumpkin patch visits can sometimes be costly, with a $1 train ride here, and a $1 popcorn there, and a $1 pumpkin everywhere, and before you know it, you already have spent $20 for each kid. To have a well-known realty company sponsor a pumpkin patch activity in my city was a huge blessing to us all. Last night, the girls were delighted to own their balloons then decorate their own pumpkins,
Pumpkin


watch and hear the popcorns pop, then savor its crunchy, salty, buttery taste,
Popcorn


groom the pony's luxurious hair
horse

and enjoy the farm-like feeling as they mingle with the sheep, chickens and bunnies,

sheep


watch others convulse in laughter as they eagerly play in the bouncy house,
bouncy house


indulge in the creative art of face-painting,
facepainting2


and guess the weight of this bigger-than-ordinary pumpkin.
pumpkinweight


Suffice to say, the kiddos had a blast (without hurting our pockets). It doesn't have to be expensive to build good family memories. How about you? Any family tradition before the Halloween?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Am Featured Today at Southern In My Heart

Celebrate life’s little successes.

Here’s to a celebration of being featured today by Vanessa! Yay!

Since I’m new to Blogland, Vanessa gave me a warm welcome by leaving a great comment on my very first project post. Thank you so much, Vanessa!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mom Cave Showcase

Another update: If you are coming from Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch or Kate over at Centsational Girl, thank you and welcome. Right now, I feel proud, blessed, and so thankful for winning the grand prize in Susan's Mom Cave Linky Party and for being mentioned by Kate in her blog post when she announced her winners.
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Please note that I'm updating this post originally published for Kate's Mom Cave contest (Centsational Girl) so I can also join Susan's Mom Cave contest (Between Naps on the Porch). All updates are italicized.

Believe it or not, my talented friends, this is my current “Mom Cave”
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and my favorite is this art.
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As a mom to young kids, that 5 to 10-minute daily commune with Mother Nature gives me time to breathe and shut off the world's cares for just a little bit, then consult my calendar for the day, cross out what I have accomplished, and review the items that still need to be done.

It's clearly evident that my current mom cave doesn't live up to the ideal "Mom Cave of all Mom Caves" because of the sterile white color and bare walls,
wall1
outdated vanity and mirror,
vanity1
and unattractive lights (and don't get me started with the laminate tile floors).
mirror1


Since our recent move, I’ve been wanting to update its look starting with this from HomeGoods:
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I'm realistic enough to know that such a beautiful item like this doesn't last long at HomeGoods so I have a plan B.

Plan B includes these awesome items from HomeGoods - sigh...I'm in heaven already.

hg2
hg1

Why should I win? So Blogland can see the evolution of my current plain mom cave into an aesthetically pleasing oasis that a $250 HomeGoods gift certificate can magically transform. If I win, I pledge to post my 'before and after' at Susan's Met Monday, so help me JUDGES.

Hope the power of intention works again!

I'm joining Kate's Linky Party so please click the link below for Mom Cave ideas at
Centsational Girl


Update: I'm linking with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her HomeGoods Mom Cave Contest.

Getting Acquainted with Paint

Remember the turtle - - He never makes any progress ‘til he sticks his neck out. ~Source Unknown

My dear friends, we used to live in a two-bedroom apartment prior to buying this house and imagine five people living in it, feeling cramped with movements stifled, lest people living downstairs will come knocking at the door. So the next day after escrow, as you can see, my two munchkins were frolicking as a result of having more freedom and more space as they explored the fourth bedroom. We designated the fourth bedroom as our home office and planned to give it a fresh coat of paint ASAP.

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The original color is white, which I call "dirty white" due to the varied kinds of dirt on the walls - hand prints, crayon markings, stickers, tapes, pencil drawings, etc. Note also how unappealing and how dirty that carpet on the floor looks. You are lucky my friends due to the fact that photos can't capture the pungent smell of the fluid that came out of a dog's bladder. Eeewww!
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So away we (ahem, read: Mr. Homemaker) prepped the room for painting. For one whole day, the room was a buzz of activities comprised of the sound of gritting sand on the walls, peeling off of the nasty stickers, then eventually the slushing sound of water and bleach as the walls were washed. Mr. Homemaker was keen on washing the walls with bleach and water to eliminate all the grease and dirt so paint will stick to them. When the walls dried came the arduous task of taping the walls and finally, getting acquainted with our beloved paint.

Here are the different colors we tested
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and afterwards, we ended up with Robin's Egg in Glidden then asked a Home Depot employee if we can have the same color customized in Behr. Why? Because Behr is a primer and paint in one. Amazingly, the employee just scanned the color we chose in Glidden, then the paint mixer started churning and after a few minutes, we got our Robin's Egg in Behr. Intuitively we knew that it'll save us time and money, considering a gallon of paint itself costs between $25 to $35, plus primer between $15 to $30. Since we planned to paint three rooms in this color, we found out that it's cheaper to have the paint in a 5-gallon pail (after buying a gallon for $30.98 less $5 rebate). Lucky for us, Behr also had promotion during that week - a $20 rebate for buying a pail of paint.

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Oh, that sweet smell of paint! Mr. Homemaker, however, wasn't keen of having us get a whiff of the paint aroma so to neutralize it, we got the cheapest can of ground coffee (definitely not the Starbucks kind), opened it, then let it stay for 24 hours in the room. (Oh, yes, we took out those nasty closet doors. We're still deciding whether to reuse them here or just buy new ones.)
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So here's our painted walls! (The blotches you can see on the white wall and trim were the holes that we spackled.) Looking at the newly painted walls instantly transformed my distressed and scattered mood caused by the ghetto-ish white color into a calm and relaxed feeling brought out by the new color. I admit, the process was soooo slow and I wished that the things I pictured in my mind will just magically appear and be brought to life that quickly; however, just like the turtle, as long as we stick our necks out, we'll eventually have this home office sassy and fancy according to our liking.
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And here they are finally painted with glossy white and Robin's Egg.
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Here's our approximate cost to achieve this look:
Four paint testers at $2.94 each = $11.76
We initially used a gallon of paint costing us $30.98 less $5 rebate = $25.98
A pail of paint is $139 less $20 rebate = $119
Since we used a quarter of the pail, this amounts to $29.75.

Hence, the total is $11.76+25.98+29.75= $67.49

How wonderful what a paint can do to alter the look of a room! So to all my friends who are afraid of paint, just go for it, and you'll never look back. Take it from someone who just experienced a painting job for the first time.

I'm linking with the excellent bloggers below so please click on the images for tons of inspiration :)

Stephanie Lynn for her Under The Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase Party
UndertheTableandDreaming


Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her Metamorphosis Monday


Roeshel over at DIY Showoff for her The DIY Show Off Project Parade
The DIY Show Off


Loulou for her very first A Little Distressed Party over at http://thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com/2010/10/little-boy-blue-and-my-first-linky.html

Linda over at Coastal Charm for her Nifty Thrify Tuesdays
 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Becca at the Blue Cricket Design for Show and Tell Wednesday
Show and Tell Green


Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence for her Thursday Under $100 Linky Party
Beyond The Picket Fence


Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple
giveaways


Vanessa at Southern In My Heart for her Inspiration Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Am Featured Today

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. ~John Barrymore


WOO to the HOO! Dear friends, I am in cloud nine as soon as I heard from Roeshel that she's featuring me today in her post. It's a pleasant surprise that really made my day. Now, I have all the rights and privileges to show off this button :)

The DIY Show Off


Thanks, Roeshel!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Filing Cabinet Morphed Into a Side Table

It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.
~The Nester


The moment I laid eyes on this Goodwill beauty, I knew right off the bat that she should be mine. For $6.99, the more I fell in love with her and decided right then and there that she's the perfect side table in my mom's bedroom.

 
 
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As I opened the 3 drawers, I discovered that the bottom part functioned as a filing drawer, which will just be a wasted space if I let her stay that way so away I dismantled her.
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And there the drawer went.
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I sanded her with an 80-grit sandpaper to eliminate the glossy finish. (Pssst...this is our courtyard adjoining the garage and the kitchen. Excuse for the unsightly cracks because I tell you folks, we live in an earthquake prone state. The former owner didn't think it important to prettify this area since she decided to give up this house anyway by not paying her mortgage. When I get a full-time job and have saved enough, we'll definitely upgrade this area...promise.)
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After sanding her, I dusted her with my handy-dandy, user-friendly Swiffer duster in preparation to staining. You can see the rollers are still intact coz at this point I can't figure out yet how to take them out but that should be gone before I put a cute basket inside.
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In true keeping with the beach surfer spirit where dark tan is in vogue, I decided to stain her
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with this.
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After giving her 3 coats of stain, I finished her off with 3 coats also of polyurethane, the purpose of which is to seal off the stain and give a semi-gloss finish. Bob from Home Depot was adamant that I use a very good quality brush to give her a nice smooth even finish.
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Getting close to the finish line, I installed 2 knobs that I bought for this project, got a $16.99 basket from Target to give it a nice texture, put my mom's essential bedroom stuff on top of it, and voila! A functional, one-of-a-kind sidetable for her :)
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Here's the breakdown of the cost for this project:
Sidetable: $ 6.99
Basket: 16.99
Stain: 1.80 (pro-rated, price for a quart is $7.18)
Polyurethane: 2.50(pro-rated, price for a quart is around $10)
Knobs: 2.18 ($1.09 a piece)
Total: $30.46

It's not as perfect as I want to be. Some parts have darker stains because of my imperfect way of sanding it but just like what The Nester said, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." And if you have just seen the look in my mother's eyes when I finished it and put it in her bedroom - PRICELESS!

I'm linking with the excellent bloggers below so please click on the images for tons of inspiration and make friends in the process :)

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

Stephanie Lynn for her Under The Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase Party
UndertheTableandDreaming


Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her Metamorphosis Monday


Roeshel over at DIY Showoff for her The DIY Show Off Project Parade
The DIY Show Off


Loulou for her very first A Little Distressed Party over at http://thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com/2010/10/little-boy-blue-and-my-first-linky.html

Linda over at Coastal Charm for her Nifty Thrify Tuesdays
 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Becca at the Blue Cricket Design for Show and Tell Wednesday
Show and Tell Green


Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence for her Thursday Under $100 Linky Party
Beyond The Picket Fence


Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple
giveaways


Vanessa at Southern In My Heart for her Inspiration Friday!
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